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Berlin tourism sector recovers: not yet at pre-pandemic level

Touristen in Berlin

Berlin's tourism industry expects rising numbers in 2023, but the level of the record year 2019 is still a long way off.

The sector recovered noticeably in 2022 after a slump caused by the pandemic, the head of the tourism company Visit Berlin, Burkhard Kieker, told the dpa. "We calculateed around 26 to 27 million overnight stays compared to 34.1 million in 2019." The 27 million mark is expected to be exceeded in the new year, Kieker said. However, pre-pandemic levels won't be reached until 2024. "2023 is another year in which we gain momentum," the Visit Berlin managing director said. "We are missing foreign tourists, especially from the previously strong markets of Italy and Spain."

Largest number of foreign visitors comes from the USA

Even from Great Britain, Kieker said, there were nowhere near as many guests in Berlin as three years ago. "This lack is partly made up for by guests from the US, which was the largest foreign visitor group in Berlin this year." Among other things, the comparatively strong dollar has contributed to this, he said. However, tourists from the entire Asian market have not yet returned, he said.

Air traffic recovers at a slower pace

"What worries us is that air traffic in Germany is recovering more slowly than in the rest of Europe," Kieker said. "The Berlin airport is way behind in terms of passenger numbers." Kieker called for BER Airport to focus on carriers such as Easyjet and Ryanair. "For these providers, we have to create conditions that make Berlin attractive again."

Significantly reduced number of flights

Otherwise, Kieker said, it will be difficult to significantly increase visitor numbers as hoped. "The number of flights is in no way comparable to what we had before the pandemic." Easyjet and Ryanair had announced plans to reduce their presence at the Berlin airport (BER). Ryanair reduced its services by 40 percent compared to the 2019 winter schedule, with both airlines also citing excessively high airport charges as a reason.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 3 January 2023
Last updated: 3 January 2023

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